Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Middle East Technical University
Biyoloji Bolumu, ODTU, Universiteler Mah. Dumlupinar Blv. No:1
Abstracts (first author)
A genome-wide scan for relaxation of constraints in the human lineage affecting specific functional processes
Changes in the subsistence mode of a species can lead to adaptive evolution of new functions, while it can also cause relaxed negative selection in previously essential functions. While positive selection in humans has been intensely studied, functional processes subject to relaxed constraints in the human lineage remain largely unknown. Here we present a framework for detecting relaxation of selective constraints that affect a particular functional process specifically in one taxon. Jointly using human and chimpanzee population genomic data with mammalian comparative genomic data, we identify olfactory receptors and proteasome subunits as candidates of relaxed constraints in humans: both gene sets contain high frequency non-synonymous mutations in humans while having conserved amino-acid sequences across other mammals. We further discuss the possible underlying causes of this signal.